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From the mail: "I had the first dinner guests over to my new apartment recently, so I  bought a couple of regular candles," writes Paul Kristan of Los Angeles. "After the guests left, one candle started melting sort of oddly -- and this is what took shape. I've been praying the Rosary for about eleven years and lately seem to be struggling to get it in every day -- and  maybe this is her way of sending out a little encouragement."

We would not doubt that. When we melt down, she will often rise.

It is the secularists who are experts at doubting -- in the Name of Reason, which was the goddess of the (godless) French Revolution.

And you know, it's really pretty dull out there amid blogs and the secular media and in those sites that seem so very -- well, worldly; mundane.

Astonishing it is to ponder the minutiae that are "news" (and grab headlines).

And so, as "fools for Christ," we'll keep our eyes on "miracles" -- small or large, as well as spiritual insights they may afford.

Our viewers are full of them. Better to believe than not to believe, said one Pope; if it turns out not to be miraculous, you will be graced as if it were. If it was miraculous, you didn't miss the boat.

"I wanted to share this picture I took at my church [right]," says Lourdes Kessler (note the first name). "It was on a Saturday afternoon where it was raining and gloomy outside. No lights were on in the church. I was there praying with my mom and I decided to take a picture of the front of the altar with my cell phone because I thought it was beautiful. When I took the picture the tabernacle looked so bright which was such an inspiration to me because it showed me the Presence of our Lord there. I have a old cell that has no flash on it. There was no light around it, other than the candles that were on the side of the tabernacle. I showed it to the pastor and he said with a smile that it depicts the Presence of Jesus there with the radiance of light around it.  " 

"I have been meaning to take a picture of a tree trunk [left] in my town for some time now," adds Jen Gaska of St. Joseph, Michigan (note the name of that town). "It appears to me to look a lot like Mary! My kids and even my uncle saw the same thing. Just wanted to pass this on."

You know, a lot of folks who make fun of such things are going to be surprised "on the other side" when they see how (subtly) God works. One can probably safely assume that He is not into philosophy. Rationalism is great, when it is subservient to spirituality.

"Do not love the world or anything in the world," says 1 John 2:15-17. "If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever."

"In my research, for the second volume of my book Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right, I found a fascinating correlation between the cosmology of Blessed Hildegard von Bingen and the Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe," says Dr. Robert Sungenis in another recent e-mail, to get a little scientific (but still on the subject of miraculous images).

"For those of you who have read the second volume of Galileo Was Wrong you already know that Hildegard’s twelfth century visions show in fine detail the geocentric universe taught in consensus by the Fathers and made official by the Magisterium under Popes Paul V in 1616, Urban VIII in 1633, and Alexander VII in 1664.

"In one of her visions, Hildegard explained that the North-South axis of the universe runs horizontally -- not vertically -- and that the universe turns like a wheel on an axle.

"I discovered the same model of the universe appears on the Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe as seen in the image of the stars given to Juan Diego in Mexico on December 12, 1531 A.D. I also discovered some fascinating astronomical and symbolic details to the Tilma that have not been documented previously."

For our discernment. That's the Blessed Mother for you: so humble, and yet of far greater intellect than the greatest astronomer. (Oh, that they only knew that.) Meanwhile: we're waiting for anything further on the tilma. Stay tuned.... How often images shaped like Guadalupe appear these days!

[resources: Tower of Light]

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